On Sunday, my gym held a Punch-A-Thon for Harry’s Heroes, and I had such a great time! I have been a member at CKO Jackson for almost two years now, and have acquired a family from there. Many of you may remember that this gym came at a pivotal moment for me. I joined just as I started the journey with Harry, just as I was coming to grips with the fact that something was wrong with him. No one listened to me, so I had to fight to get him evaluated. I was on two journeys at once. I ventured over to CKO and tried a class with Laura instructing. I remember vividly, and she does too, talking to her after the class about Harry and how he wasn’t walking yet. I confided in this stranger that I thought there was something wrong with him, because I could tell she really cared. She listened and assured me that all kids are different, but I should follow my gut. I signed up right there.
I had recently lost some weight, but was stuck, and kickboxing helped me get in to the best shape of my life. The hour classes were just what I needed, and the variety of trainers kept it interesting. Beyond that, it filled a hole in my life that I needed to fill. At the time I needed an outlet, and this was it. I remember vividly being in the back corner of the gym during a day time class taught by Michele, one of the owners. Often a loud song would come on and the instructors would tell us to “attack” – meaning do whatever you want for 30 – 60 seconds and really challenge yourself. Michele probably doesn’t even know it, but she spoke directly to me that day. She said, “Whatever is bothering you, leave it here. Get it out.” So I did. I beat the hell out of the bag, and tears streamed down my face. I left with bloody hands that day. CKO was my therapy, and I’m not sure I would have made it without the release I found there.
So a punch-a-thon is a 90 minute class, which is a long, great workout! It was taught by 3 instructors, each taking a 30 minute section. I wish we had time to get all the instructors in, but some of my favorites were there. We had a little bit less than half the bags taken, which was a little disappointing but it was a great group. There was great energy and lots of motivation. I spoke in the beginning and was overcome by emotion. Some days are like that. I told the story about how Harry woke up from a nap and told me he dreamt about a race. When I asked him if I was there, he said yes and that he was there too. He then told me that he ran in the race and won! I will not rest until I can make that a reality.
I was introduced to James from Jar of Hope, who fights for his son Jamesy, an adorable little boy. Jamesy has Duchenne, and was the inspiration for Jar of Hope. James has gone around to local gyms to do a pushup campaign to spread awareness about muscular dystrophy and raise funds for his organization. I reached out to him to see if he was interested in stopping by at the end of class and doing pushups with us. He surprised me by not only saying yes, but by joining the punch-a-thon! I ended up working out next to him and we fed off each other’s energy. We also went out to lunch after and I was able to pick his brain about his successful organization. More importantly, I was able to talk to him about being a parent of a child with muscular dystrophy. We are a rare breed, and it was so nice to talk to someone going through something similar. I could have talked to him all day.
All in all, it was an amazing day. I am forever grateful to those around me who support us in various ways. Events like this are just fun and icing on the cake. We get to hang out, laugh a little, cry a little, and raise some money for the cause. What could be better?